I love Almond Nog! I love it, I do!
But not the case for egg nog, I never liked the stuff. It is so thick, sweet and it is way to rich for my liking. You almost have to skip a meal to drink the stuff! Yuck! (for me at least).
BUT She’s got it! She’s got it! By George, I think she’s got it! I believe she does! (My fair Lady, hehe)
Almond Nog! Homemade almond milk (under my drinks section in this blog), cinnamon, vanilla bean, nutmeg, ginger root and maple syrup. I guess thats why they say fresh is best. Choosing whole foods, no refined sugars, fresh ingredients and raw-sprouted almonds makes a HUGE difference in this festive drink. Now I love gettin’ my nog on.
So lets make a healthy version that doesn’t leave you sick at the end of the glass, and tastes G-r-r-e-a-t in morning coffee! No eggs, all natural, deliciously vegan
- 4 cups almond milk
- 1 really ripe banana
- 1/2 vanilla bean / 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 big pinches cinnamon
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1/4 cup cashews, soaked 4-6 hours (optional)
- Soak chia seeds in almond milk for 20 minutes.
- Place chia & almond milk mixture in blender with the rest of ingredients.
- Blend until completely smooth.
On the second recipe of Christmas, chef Lauren gave to you…..
I was challenged to make vegan shortbread cookies last weekend. Challenge accepted. I have made shortbreads every Christmas since I was about 5 years old…. So I have 22 years experience in this category. This year, my first vegan Christmas, I need to make vegan shortbreads… but also use high quality ingredients that are close to being super healthy. But I threw in a shot of naughty
I decided to make something with a bit of wow factor, so instead of your average cookie I wanted to make a layered cookie. This is when I discovered the millionaire shortbread.. a layered shortbread cookie filled with caramel (my favourite) and topped with chocolate ganache!
Also available in the To-Go fridge at enVie! www.enviehalifax.com
- 1 1/4 cups almond flour (I used whole almonds and ground them myself-but they won’t be the nice light colour cookie you are use to if you do this)
- 1/3 cup cane sugar
- pinch sea salt
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil/earth balance
- Line a 9 X 9 baking dish with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In food processor mix almond flour, sugar, salt. Pulse three times, then add earth balance/coconut oil until the dough comes together.
- Press into parchment lined pan, bake until golden brown. Cool in freezer until completely cold.
- 3/4 cup coconut milk fat (place coconut milk in fridge-for a few hours. Open can and scrape the coconut milk fat off top)
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 3/4 cup palm sugar (less refined than cane sugar, and perfectly dark for caramel)
- 2 Tbsp. almond butter
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil/earth balance butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- pinch sea salt
- Heat coconut milk fat in a pan with palm sugar and maple syrup. Boil on medium high heat until milk mixture seems to get quite thick and reduces. Boil this mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, remembering to whisk every few minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon nicely (nappe-a french term that literally means coats back of spoon).
- Whisk in nut butter, vanilla and salt. Bubble this mixture for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour over cooled shortbread crust. Cool this mixture completely, freezer works well!
- 1 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp. almond butter
- Set up a double boiler. This means place a small sauce pan on the stove with some simmering water, then place a bowl on top-making sure the bowl is not touching the simmering water.
- Put the chocolate in the simmering bowl, and melt completely.
- Stir in coconut oil and almond butter. Make sure this is fully combined.
- Spread on top of caramel, and set again in fridge or freezer.
When shortbreads are completely set and cooled take out of pan. Place on a cutting board, chocolate side down. Cut gently with a serrated knife, trying not to crack the chocolate too much. (I like to cut through the shortbread crust and caramel with serrated knife then switch to my regular chefs knife to quickly chop through the chocolate layer)
Enjoy, and happy holiday baking
On the first recipe of Christmas chef Lauren gave to you…..
“Turkey” Seitan Roulade
So last night was enVie’s Christmas cooking class It was so much fun. I have been perfecting the art of seitan only since the summer (when enVie opened). I also have been frantically testing roulade recipes since thanksgiving so I could have the recipe perfected by Christmas. Well I certainly have developed the perfect recipe for you! So since it is the holiday season and I love sharing I am giving you this amazing recipe. BUT if you are feeling lazy don’t fret because you are in luck. We are also selling these at the restaurant so pre-order yours starting December 9th. Check out what else we are selling for the holidays on our website http://enviehalifax.com/holiday-togo-menu/.
Cran Apple stuffing
This stuffing also makes an amazing side dish! Just double recipe, place in a casserole dish and top with croutons and fresh cranberries and broil for 5-10 minutes until cranberries begin to pop and bread crumbs caramelize.
- 1/4 cup wild rice (or rice or grain of your chosing)
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 1/2 cup button mushrooms (chopped fine)
- 1 celery stalk (diced fine)
- 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 3 Tbsp. dried cranberries
- 1 small apple diced
- Sea salt and Cracked black pepper to taste
Seitan Wet Ingredients
- 170g tofu
- 3 Tbsp. plain vegan milk (soy, almond etc.)
- 3 Tbsp. oil
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
Seitan Dry Ingredients
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten (Protein extracted from wheat, great vegetarian source of protein!)
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (grown on molasses, high in B12!)
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. sage
- ¼ tsp. rosemary
- 1/8 tsp. thyme
- 16”x20” bean curd sheet (found at asian grocery stores, flat crispy paper you rehydrate)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- For the stuffing: cook the rice until tender (follow package directions for cooking the style of rice you have chosen). Sauté onions with herbs until translucent, then add celery and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Add apples, soy sauce, vegetable stock, pecans and dried cranberries. Cook medium high heat until almost all the moisture has been evaporated. Finish with salt and pepper to taste and fold in bread crumbs.
All the ingredients cooking together and flavours becoming one
- For the Seitan: Blend all wet ingredients together in a food processor.
- Whisk all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the middle of the bowl. Place wet mixture into the well. Fold together and kneed for about 5 minutes. Let dough rest for one hour.
- Roll roulade into a 10”x15” rectangle.
Rolled out seitan “turkey” dough
- Spread stuffing evenly over dough, leaving a 1” border at the edges. Roll into a log (starting at short end), then press the ends together to seal. Make sure the log is short enough to fit into your steamer. Wrap the log in cheesecloth or a piece of muslin and secure the ends with string.
Stuffing spread out and beginning to roll up, think of a jelly roll or cinnamon bun!
Cheese cloth roll up
- Bring water to a boil in a pot with a steamer insert. Steam turkey for two hours over gently simmering water. Check water level regularly so it doesn’t boil out.
- For the crispy turkey skin preheat oven to 400F. When finished steaming, let turkey cook for a few minutes until you can handle it. Unwrap from cheesecloth. Take the bean curd sheet and dip into a bowl of warm water until soft. Don’t over soak or it will fall apart. Fold skin in half on work surface. Put the turkey on the beancurd and fold the sides.
- Combine the oil and soy sauce. Brush the turkey with it.
- Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through until crispy. Slice and serve with your favorite side-dishes!
Ok, so I have been brainstorming ideas and frantically writing recipes for the cooking class Diandra and I are holding tonight at enVie. In doing so it gave me a great Idea to do something special for everyone who follows my blog!
Introducing the 12 Recipes of Christmas! This month I will be posting 3 holiday inspired recipes a week until I reach my 12th recipe by Christmas day. I hope you all will follow me as I rough it through the month of December (the best month of the year and sometimes the most stressful, especially for a chef!) and give you great recipes for your holiday season!
I can’t wait to share with you some fun and easy “I can’t believe this is freekin’ vegan” recipes! Happy cooking .. and Holidays everyone!
On Monday I taught a cooking class at the vegan restaurant I am the chef at called enVie http://enviehalifax.com. I taught everyone how to make the easiest pizza crust in the world! Now it is time for me to share this recipe with you! It is gluten-free, filled with protein and is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. We haven’t even topped this pizza and it is already killer good for you!
Chia Seed Pizza Crust
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 Tbsp. buckwheat flour
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds (chopped)
- 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds (chopped)
- 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Combine ingredients and mix well, until the mixture firms up and is well combined.
The dough, ready to spread
- Spread into desired shape and bake for 30-40 minutes on parchment paper until firm.
- Add desired toppings and broil for 5-10 minutes more. I also topped with my nut cheese recipe (in my condiments section) and used my broccoli pesto for the sauce (in my snacks section). Happy pizza making!
- The finished Product! Broccoli pesto, daiya cheese, cherry tomatoes and sliced avocado! YUM!
Topping choices are unlimited. This one was made by my friend “tex mex” style with salsa, cherry tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, mushrooms and vegan cheddar cheese.
It is a beautiful sunny fall morning and I am trying to focus on all my school work that I have to do (yes still working on studying for my final exam in Holistic Nutrition, sigh… all in good time.) But all I can think about is all the vegetables in my fridge that need to be cooked. Ah yes… a chef’s ultimate procrastination. “I will do my work after lunch is made ” So that is just what I did. I took all the organic veggies from my local food boxes that had been piling up – mostly because my roommates and I are never home to cook much- and I roasted them all off .. cooked some apples in a broth and turned it into a delicious pureed soup! It is a creamy (but not actually cream) soup that customers love at enVie, and now I can show you how to do the same at home with veggies in your fridge you just want to get rid of!
I roasted off two baking pans worth of vegetables from my fridge, so be creative and use whatever you have. Just remember to fill up two pans worth and you will have a delicious soup!
Roasted Vegetable and Valley Apple Soup
Makes 10 servings
- 2 large onions (roughly chopped)
- 5 small carrots (or two large)
- 6 medium sized parsnips
- 2 stalks celery
- 5 local apples (cored and cut into quarters)
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp thyme (dry or fresh)
- 1 tsp rosemary (dry or fresh)
- 2 bay leaves
- Sea salt and pepper
- 10 cups of water
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Roughly cut all the vegetables the same size, keep onions and apples separate.
- Toss the vegetables with salt, pepper and 2 tbsp. of melted coconut oil. Lay on two sheet pans and place in the oven. Bake for one hour making sure to stir the veg every ten minutes or so.
- Meanwhile sauté the onions with herbs until translucent in the final tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the whole garlic cloves and the apples. Continue to sauté for another 10 minutes.
- Add water to the apple and onion mixture and bring to a simmer. Let this mixture cook on a medium heat until the roasted veggies are done (you are looking for lots of colour and caramelization on the roasted vegetables).
- When the veggies are finished roasting add them to the apple and onion broth and continue to cook for another hour or so on a medium heat, or a light simmer.
- Puree the soup with a blender (super creamy) in four stages or use a hand blender (easier!).
The onions cooking with the apples and garlic
The soup with all the roasted vegetables simmering. Allowing soups to simmer for a good amount of time gives them the opportunity to develop flavour and depth.
I garnished this soup with some raw pumpkin seeds and dulse flakes! Yummy and 100% local. Love my Nova Scotia! Now it is time to eat and stop procrastinating!
This recipe is so easy to make you will wonder why you haven’t thought of making it sooner, or at least that is what I thought! I love oatmeal cookies, but when I buy them from a cafe or in the store I often wonder “how much sugar is in these, how bad are these for me, do I really want to know?” I wanted to offer you a simple recipe that was as delicious as it was healthy, so I came up with these little healthy pieces of joy! It is time to stop throwing out all those old bananas and start baking them in your new favourite cookies!Oaty Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups whole oats
- 1/4 cup flax seeds (ground)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup vegan 70% dark chocolate chips (or chunks chopped)
- 1/4 cup organic baking soda
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (gently warmed)
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Whisk all dry ingredients together.
- Mix the coconut oil and mashed banana together, and fold into dry mixture. Then fold in dark chocolate.
- Plop onto lined baking sheet and form into round cookies by pressing down (don’t worry about spreading them too far apart-they do not expand to much).
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the outsides become golden brown.
This past weekend I was lucky enough to spend at a wonderful yoga retreat at Windhorse Farm (http://www.windhorsefarm.org) put on by Roberto and Anke of Conscious Catering http://consciouscatering.ca. They hold amazing workshops and do seasonal retreats at the farm and in Halifax that are out of this world.
The highlight of the entire weekend was walking through the old growth Acadian forest and picking winter chanterelle mushrooms. There were so many of them, of corse you never pick all the mushrooms. You must leave some for the forest so it can continually spore new mushrooms! Otherwise we would not get these golden fungi of goodness in the future
I was inspired to cook a delicious warming meal when I returned home and wanted to make something gluten free, vegan, and totally nutritious and full of protein. So I came up with a hearty recipe for a vegetable-foraged mushroom-millet soup. I hope you like it. You can substitute the mushrooms in this recipe for any kind of mushroom you love.
The mushrooms in all their glory!
Millet and Foraged Mushroom Stew- Serves 6
- 1 cup millet
- 3 cups fresh mushrooms (I used winter chanterelles)
- 1 tsp thyme (fresh or dry)
- 2 cups diced white onion
- 8 cups veg. broth
- 2 Tbsp. tamari
- 2 cups diced carrot
- 1 cup diced celery
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
- Prepare the millet: Rinse, drain then roast in pan to develop flavour (medium heat). Roast the millet until it begins to toast and all the moisture from rinsing is cooked off. Add 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer. Cook this for 20 – 25 minutes. Set aside until soup is ready.
- Meanwhile sauté onion and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, celery, carrots and thyme. The mushrooms will begin to release water so cook this mixture until all the water has reduced.
- Stir in broth. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
- Take half of the soup and puree it. Add that puree back to the un-pureed portion of the soup.
- Stir in the millet. Simmer an additional 5-10 minutes. Garnish with walnuts and parsley.
This soup goes great with my chickpea biscuits (under my baked goods section)!
This recipe is versatile and can be used in many ways. It will last 4 or 5 days in your fridge or you can freeze it into ice cube trays and keep it up to 3 months. Use this pesto as a topping on pizza, a sauce for pasta, a garnish on soups or eat it as a dip for a snack! Enjoy
In this picture I used the pesto to top my favourite pizza crust recipe! (Dinner time section)
- 3 cups broccoli florets (steamed until tender, about 4 -5 minutes)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 1/2 cup walnuts (sunflower seeds and pine nuts are delicious too!)
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until silk smooth! It’s that easy
Sunflower Seed “Parmesan”
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- Pinch of good quality sea salt
- Add these three simple ingredients to your food processor until the mixture turns into a parmesan like powder.
- Enjoy on salads, pizzas, pastas or “cheesy” garlic bread!
Note: Many nuts work well in this recipe, cashews-brazil nuts-pinenuts-macadamia nuts. It is a good idea to rotate foods you are eating. Sometimes in vegan cooking we can focus a lot on cashews (soooo creamy and work excellent in deserts!) and almonds (for flavour and texture). Take note of what foods you are eating and see if it is time to do some rotating yourself. Too much of a good thing can still be bad, this saying goes well with the food we eat.